Remove All Mushrooms on Lawns Where Children Play
Like many Americans, my family spent part of its Labor Day weekend at a picnic with friends. I was reminded, though, that perils can lurk everywhere when young children are involved — and that not everyone perceives the dangers.
As we began to spread out the blanket, I noticed quarter-sized brown circles all across my friend’s lawn that he didn’t even realize were there. For the next 15 minutes or so I led him on a mushroom removal mission so that the potentially dangerous toadstools wouldn’t wind up in our children’s mouths.
“Are most of them edible?” he asked.
The best answer is that unless you’re an expert or in the company of one, ASSUME ALL MUSHROOMS ARE POISONOUS.
The reality is that most mushrooms are not lethal, but you don’t want your children — or pets — to be the petri dish.
Mushrooms are easy to remove, either by hand or with a rake. It’s best to use gloves that can be rinsed afterward rather than to touch the mushrooms with your own hands. Here’s a good web site from Missouri on the subject: http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/outdoor-recreation/how/mushrooms/poisonous-mushrooms.
If you do fear that you, your child or your pet may have been poisoned, here is the national hotline number to keep on your refrigerator: 1-800-222-1222.
Having said all of that, scarcely anything is more fascinating in nature than mushrooms and I can’t think of anything more flavorful on the dinner table. It can be great fun and wildly educational to join a mushroom foray with an expert. Fall is the most common time for culinary forays into the woods in the northern climates.